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Carbon disulfide

May 1994
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH)

CAS number: 75–15–0

NIOSH REL: 1 ppm (3 mg/m3) TWA, 10 ppm (30 mg/m3) STEL [skin]

Current OSHA PEL: 20 ppm TWA, 30 ppm CEILING,

100 ppm 30-minute MAXIMUM PEAK

1989 OSHA PEL: 4 ppm (12 mg/m3) TWA, 12 ppm (36 mg/m3) STEL [skin]

1993-1994 ACGIH TLV: 10 ppm (31 mg/m3) TWA [skin]

Description of Substance: Colorless to faint-yellow liquid with a sweet ether-like odor.

LEL: . . 1.3% (10% LEL, 1,300 ppm)

Original (SCP) IDLH: 500 ppm

Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The chosen IDLH is based on the statement in Patty [1963] that symptoms occur after 30 minutes of exposure to 420 to 510 ppm [Flury and Zernik 1931]. AIHA [1956] reported that severe symptoms and unconsciousness may occur within 30 minutes at 1,100 ppm [Patty 1963]. Patty [1963] also reported that exposure of humans to 4,800 ppm for 30 minutes causes coma and may be fatal [Flury and Zernik 1931].

Existing short-term exposure guidelines: 1992 American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPGs):

ERPG-1: 1 ppm (60-minute)

ERPG-2: 50 ppm (60-minute)

ERPG-3: 500 ppm (60-minute)

National Research Council [NRC 1984] Emergency Exposure Guidance Levels (EEGLs):

10-minute EEGL: 200 ppm

30-minute EEGL: 100 ppm

60-minute EEGL: 50 ppm


Lethal concentration data:

Species Reference LC50(ppm) LCLo(ppm) Time Adjusted 0.5-hrLC (CF) DerivedValue






AIHA 1992AIHA 1992

AIHA 1992

AIHA 1992

Izmerov et al. 1982

Izmerov et al. 1982

Lefaux 1968













1 hr1 hr

4 hr

4 hr

2 hr

2 hr

30 min

>2,088 ppm (1.25)19,375 ppm (1.25)

6,000 ppm (2.0)

7,000 ppm (2.0)

12,658 ppm (1.6)

5,063 ppm (1.6)

4,000 ppm (1.0)

>208 ppm1,938 ppm

600 ppm

700 ppm

1,266 ppm

506 ppm

400 ppm


Other animal data: RD50 (mouse), >81,000 ppm [AIHA 1992].

Other human data: Symptoms have occurred after 30 minutes of exposure to concentrations ranging from 420 to 510 ppm while exposure to 4,800 ppm for 30 minutes causes coma and may be fatal [Flury and Zernik 1931]. Severe symptoms and unconsciousness may occur within 30 minutes at 1,100 ppm [Patty 1963]. It has been reported that 760 ppm causes an immediate headache that lasts for hours [Browning 1953]. It has also been reported that minor symptoms are induced after several hours of exposure to 300 ppm, distinct signs of poisoning at 400 ppm, severe poisoning after 30 minutes at 1,150 ppm, and life-threatening health effects at 3,200 to 3,800 ppm [Bittersohl et al. 1972]. It has been reported that exposure at 2,000 to 3,300 ppm leads to narcosis in 30 minutes, and death occurs after 30 to 60 minutes of exposure at 5,000 ppm [Paluch 1954].

Revised IDLH: 500 ppm [Unchanged]Basis for revised IDLH: Based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Bittersohl et al. 1972; Browning 1953; Flury and Zernik 1931; Lefaux 1968], the original IDLH for carbon disulfide (500 ppm) is not being revised at this time.



1. AIHA [1956]. Carbon disulfide (carbon bisulfide). In: Hygienic guide series. Am Ind Hyg Assoc Q 17:446-447.

2. AIHA [1992]. Emergency response planning guidelines: carbon disulfide. Akron, OH: American Industrial Hygiene Association.

3. Bittersohl G, Ehrhardt W, Grund W, Grunewald A [1972]. Schwefelkohlenstoff. In: E. Kersten, ed., Franz Koelsch Handbuch der Berufserkrankungen. Jean, Germany: VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag, pp. 271-273 (in German).

4. Browning E [1953]. Toxicity of industrial solvents. New York, NY: Chemical Publishing Company, pp. 381-391.

5. Flury F, Zernik F [1931]. Schädliche gase dämpfe, nebel, rauch- und staubarten. Berlin, Germany: Verlag von Julius Springer, p. 299 (in German).

6. Izmerov NF, Sanotsky IV, Sidorov KK [1982]. Toxicometric parameters of industrial toxic chemicals under single exposure. Moscow, Russia: Centre of International Projects, GKNT, p. 32.

7. Lefaux R [1968]. Practical toxicology of plastics. Cleveland, OH: Chemical Rubber Company, p. 118.

8. NRC [1984]. Emergency and continuous exposure limits for selected airborne contaminants. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Committee on Toxicology, Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, pp. 41-56.

9. Paluch R [1954]. Toksykologia przemyslowa. PWT, Warszava, p. 351 (in Polish).

10. Patty FA, ed. [1963]. Industrial hygiene and toxicology. 2nd rev. ed. Vol. II. Toxicology. New York, NY: Interscience Publishers, Inc., p. 902.